Forty-four years ago, Iron Butterfly was born right here in my hometown of San Diego. They left for the bright lights and plentiful drugs of Los Angeles and recorded effectively six albums (everything else was either live or "best of" collections). Really, everyone knows them by their second album 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'. Actually, everyone knows them by half of their second album which one of the longest non-live songs in Rock and Roll due to it guitar solo, keyboard solo, bass solo and famous drum solo. Even Doug Ingle, who made Jim Morrison sound like an alto, loosened up on the vocals a little throughout the song.
It is astonishing that the second side is so great while the first side is unlistenable. It is even more remarkable because the first side is nearly a carbon copy of the second in terms of lyrics and musical style. Go back and listen to it; I dare you! In essence, the lyrics are:
- I love you.
- Don't you believe that I love you?
- Why don't you believe that I love you?
And people wonder why they only had one hit.
Yet, that one song, played loud and long, has sustained the memory of a singular band for over forty years and that is no small feat. So happy birthday Iron Butterfly, you crazy proto-metal band!